Target: U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
Goal: Stop new rule that would allow poultry processors to inspect their own meat
The United States Department of Agriculture, led by the Obama administration, has been advocating for new rules that would speed up poultry processing by limiting government inspections and allowing the processing plants to inspect their own meat. It is expected that these new, faster-moving lines would result in a higher prevalence of pathogens such as salmonella and campylobacter. In order to combat these pathogens, various anti-microbial sprays would be applied to the chickens as they moved down the lines. We must tell the USDA it cannot compromise consumer health and safety standards just to save poultry processors a bit of money.
According to the USDA, eliminating government poultry inspectors would save taxpayers $30 million annually and the poultry industry at least $256 million each year. Poultry companies such as Tyson, Pilgrim’s Pride, Purdue, and Sanderson are pushing these new rules in order to maximize corporate profits at the expense of consumer health and safety. Unfortunately this is yet another example of the USDA prioritizing the meat processing industry over consumers.
More speed and fewer inspectors can only compromise the safety of processing plant workers and increase the likelihood of tainted chicken. The USDA should be considering consumer health and worker safety over corporate profits. Unfortunately powerful industry lobbyists have convinced them otherwise. Please sign this petition and demand that the USDA not compromise consumer safety by eliminating poultry inspectors and speeding up processing lines.
Dear Secretary Vilsack:
The USDA has recently been advocating for new rules that would speed up poultry processing by limiting government inspections and allowing companies such as Tyson, Pilgrim’s Pride, Purdue, and Sanderson to inspect their own meat. Experts have suggested that these new, faster moving lines would result in a higher prevalence of pathogens such as salmonella and campylobacter. The USDA plans to combat these pathogens by applying anti-microbial sprays to the chicken carcasses as they move down the lines. These new rules obviously compromise consumer health and safety in an effort to maximize corporate profits.
The USDA should be prioritizing the health and safety of consumers over the wishes of corporate meat processors. By cow towing to these corporate interests, the USDA is compromising the safety of the citizens to whom it is ultimately beholden. Eliminating government inspectors and allowing meat processors to inspect chickens is not an acceptable way to save money. I encourage you to reconsider these new proposals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Larry Rana via Wikimedia Commons